President Barack Obama's assertion in a recent speech that India "is not simply emerging but has emerged" underscores the huge potential the Indian market holds for U.S. and Western multinational companies. In the last 15 years, India has emerged to rival China as one of the world's fastest growing economies, with a burgeoning middle class eager to buy goods and services. Although its northern neighbor outpaces India in large-scale export-focused manufacturing and attracts more foreign investment,

India excels when it comes to its highly educated workforce, democratic institutions and less restrictive operating environment.

However, impediments to doing business in India are formidable, from currency convertibility and potential political instability to rising inflation. Challenges include corruption and graft, although those problems are receding, and a checkered infrastructure of sparkling glass skyscrapers that reflect adjacent slums, and airports and roads that look as if they belong in the 1950s.

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